A new kitchen counter top can transform an otherwise dull and outdated kitchen into a vibrant up to date family gathering place. Granite is the new rage, the look and durability is nearly unsurpassed, giving quality and beauty to the room. All that is required to transform an ordinary kitchen counter is to dismantle the plumbing system, disassemble the garbage disposal, dishwasher and all accompanying electric, remove the counter top, measure, cut and install a granite top, then reassemble everything.
Transforming your tired kitchen counters can be achieved by painting it and a little bit of elbow grease. To begin, clear everything off the counter top. Using painter’s tape (blue) tape off any area you don’t want paint on, such as around the perimeter of the sink, along the seam of the splash back and along the bottom along the tops of the kitchen cabinets. Using mineral spirits thoroughly clean the counter top removing all grease, oil and dirt of any kind. Take a razor blade scrapper and scrape the counter top, then clean with mineral spirits again.
In order to give the paint a good bonding surface, use 40-60-80 grit sandpaper and thoroughly sand the entire kitchen counter top, cleaning with mineral spirits between every sanding. Insure you did not miss any places as they will peel or blister should the paint not be able to bond correctly and the entire job can be ruined. Worse yet, you won’t realize it until weeks later after completing the job when the peeling would begin.
Confident everything has been sanded and is thoroughly clean, use a roller and apply a coat of primer, I use Kilnz, but any quality primer will do. Allow the primer to completely dry. Then lightly sand the entire area again, clean with mineral spirits and apply another coat of primer. Two coats should be sufficient, but you can use three coats if you wish. Allow these coats of primer to thoroughly dry and harden. Now decide what you want your granite counter to look like, a visit to a granite supply store or a home supply store, will give you hundreds of different colors and textures which to choose from.
Let’s say you want a black granite with gray veins throughout it. You would buy a good quality latex black paint, probably a gallon, a pint of gray latex paint and a feather duster. Lightly sand the primed counter top and clean with mineral spirits. Using a roller paint the counter top black, allowing it to dry, then applying a second coat if desired and allow to completely dry.
Pour the gray paint into a paint pan, taking the feather duster lightly dip the tips of the feathers into the paint. Do not get too much paint on the feathers or else the paint will glob and drip onto the counter and any other surface. Lightly brush the feathers across the counter top, swirling and brushing in opposite directions until acquiring the gray vein appearance your seeking.
Once you have achieved the desired affect and look of granite you want, apply a coat of polyurethane over the entire surface. Allow to thoroughly dry, scuff, clean and apply another coat. Two coats should suffice, but the more coats applied, up to a certain point, the deeper the gloss look you’ll obtain. Remove all the tape. You have now transformed your butcher block Formica kitchen counter into a deep black granite which will be beautiful and durable. As with any counter top, do not place scalding hot pans directly onto the surface, always use a butcher block.